This year, more than ever, I have noticed students bringing tablets and computers to class. As juniors, students are asked to take a lot of notes and turn them into something
useful to prepare for tests, and some juniors have already come up with a system that makes this significantly easier: bringing their computer to school.
Mr. Eric Stanton, upper grades history teacher, defended the juniors’ use of computers during class. He explained that everybody organizes themselves differently and that for some students, typing their notes may be “a better way of approaching [note taking] than just traditional organization in notebooks.
Not only does typing notes make information easier to sort for some students, but it is undoubtedly a perfect way to collaborate when studying. Before big exams, a lot of students ask to exchange notes and synthesize them together to create study guides. This assures students that they aren’t missing any information, and reading through all of the information helps students remember everything.
Taking notes by computer also takes the stress off of heavy backpacks. While students continue to need some binders for worksheets and classes that require handwriting, eliminating the amount of binders needed without a computer makes bags significantly lighter.
There is something to be said for the power of handwriting notes. To start, it forces students to choose the most necessary information and document that, because there’s not enough time to copy everything. This creates a mental highlight of what’s important. For students who don’t want to sort through pages and pages of transcripts of the lesson, it makes sense to handwrite. Not only that, but according to NPR, students also remember a greater amount of the information when it is handwritten versus typed.
Stacy Roberts, class of 2019, uses an iPad Pro and stylus and said that it “allows me to handwrite notes and then immediately have them typed up as well and it’s just a much easier way to help consolidate my learning and also just to organize it without having to have a bunch of really heavy notebooks and binders.”
Bringing computers to school serves as a helpful tool beyond notes. Students use school computers at least once every week or two in order to conduct research or type an essay. The time spent in class can often be wasteful if the computers aren’t functioning properly, but bringing one’s own computer takes away that problem.
Mr. Stanton agreed, “Your own computers are a little more technologically advanced so they function faster and have other programs that the chromebooks don’t have.”
In the end, it is important that each individual student finds a system for learning that works well for them, but bringing a computer to school has definitely shown its perks.
For students who don’t have their own computer, it is certainly worth the school’s funds to offer more functioning computers, or a system that allows students to rent computers to make them feel more personalized.